AN APPLICATION has been submitted that would see a school's outdoor sports area revamped and used as a community facility. 

Planning documents say the site at Ulverston Victoria High School (UVHS) would be open to the public at evenings and weekends.

In the description of the proposal, a UVHS spokesman said the school spent £8,000 each year to use the all-weather pitch at the town's leisure centre between October and April.

"Our grass pitches are often unusable due to the weather – especially when we have fixtures," he said.

"Not only does this take a significant amount of time out of each 100-minute PE lesson – walking the students to and from the centre once they have changed at school – but also poses a health and safety issue crossing a main road – all of which is risk-assessed but places additional pressure on staff."

The spokesman stressed the existing enclosed leisure area at the school was in 'urgent' need of resurfacing in order to make it safe for PE lessons.

The spokesman said members of the public visiting the facility would use UVHS's existing vehicle and bicycle parking facilities or the pedestrian entrances in Springfield Road and Victoria Road. 

He said community use of the facility would be managed by 'Onside Sports Arena CIC, who are funding the project and gifting it to the school in return for a 20-year lease – with a break clause after 10 years'.

"The integrity of after-hours school-site security will be maintained by, and be the responsibility of, Onside Sports Arena CIC, with the pedestrian entrances being locked after 6pm on a school day and throughout weekends, and operated by a remote video and buzzer link by the Onside's duty manager for that evening/day," he said.

The proposal includes:

  • Resurfacing of the existing leisure area with an artificial grass surface
  • Around 210m of 3m-high sports fencing
  • Around 34m of 2m-high 'ball-stop' netting
  • Six 7.5m-high poles with floodlights mounted on them
  • Between 100 and 150 saplings bordering the houses in Victoria Road to 'eventually limit the view of the floodlights during autumn/winter evenings, act as a slight sound barrier and also offset carbon'

The plan has been submitted to South Lakeland District Council by Richard Butler, of UVHS.